MORE INTERVIEWS: Reno-Tahoe Open transcript archive
THE MODERATOR: We'd like to welcome our tournament host this week, Scott McCarron, to the interview room here at the Reno-Tahoe Open. Scott, you're pulling double duty this week.
SCOTT McCARRON: I think it's like triple duty. I don't know how many duties I have this week.
THE MODERATOR: If you could just give us some brief comment on your role this week, and then we'll open it up for questions.
SCOTT McCARRON: Well, my role really started probably about six months ago becoming the host and starting to recruit players to come to the Reno-Tahoe Open. Been trying to do my best to get guys it come here, promote the tournament, talk it up, and show 'em what we're doing. We're making it a little bit different and a little bit better.
It's been going on for quite a long time. Been working trying to help get title sponsors. Working with Jana on some of the logistics. She's a first-time tournament director, so she's been calling and asking a lot of different questions about what to do. Just kind of easing her through that transition.
Since Ive been here, you know, hosting a Pro-Am Pairings Party last night; playing today in the Pro-Am; I'll be getting mic'd by Golf Channel on Thursday for a couple holes; and then I'll be hosting a party on Friday up at Incline. I'm throwing another title sponsor, potential title sponsor party this evening.
So we get a lot going on. I'm looking forward to getting inside the ropes on Thursday.
THE MODERATOR: Speaking of getting inside the ropes, you've played well here in the past. A couple of top 5s. Talk about where with everything going on your goal is maybe going into the week from a golf standpoint.
SCOTT McCARRON: Well, you know, certainly it takes a little bit out of you. It's tough duty being the host. But once they tee it up on Thursday, hopefully all that stuff will be subsided and I can really concentrate on golf.
You've really got to prioritize your day. So far I've been doing a pretty good job of that.
THE MODERATOR: Great. Questions.
Q. I'm a junior reporter with the First Tee, and I was wondering how being the official host for Reno-Tahoe Open has changed how you prepare for the tournament??
SCOTT McCARRON: Well, I think it's a little lack of sleep more than anything. Some of the preparation getting ready for last night was a big night for us hosting the Pro-Am Pairings Party. So I've been trying to take it a little bit easy on the golf course, not wear myself out for all the other stuff I have I have to do.
I think once I get going tomorrow, Thursday, it should affect me at all. I should be ready to go.
Q. I'm also another junior reporter from the First Tee. John Sande, chairman of the Reno-Tahoe Open and board member of the First Tee played on your team today. Can you tell me if he helped contribute to your team's current standing??
SCOTT McCARRON: Of course John Sande was an integral part of our team today, which right now we're in about fourth place. John played very well today, and he's hosting a nice dinner for us tonight.
Q. Two of your players, John Sande and Senator Townsend are often described as the best dressed guys in town. Who do you think takes that title today??
SCOTT McCARRON: Senator Randolph Townsend definitely takes the best-dressed category at any time. I think he sleeps in those suits. Those are the best looking suits I've ever seen.
Q. You've always been the host of this tournament. I think I remember one year when you didn't play well that you said that doing that really kind of took a toll. Did you learn something from that year as far as being maybe a little better prepared for the tournament this year??
SCOTT McCARRON: I've always been kind of the unofficial host. This is definitely taking it to another level. Being the unofficial host basically meant that I hosted a party at my house for a bunch of players and fed them and gave them drink, and that was it.
This year it's definitely taken on a lot bigger role being the official host. I think over my career I've learned how to really categorize what I need to do first, things that are important and things that can maybe wait for a little bit, and put them in a prioritized manner that I can focus on playing golf. I think that comes with age.
Q. Would you say a win now would mean as much to you as any time in the past??
SCOTT McCARRON: I think a win any time means as much. I think when I first won in '96 in New Orleans, tat meant a tremendous amount. Just getting on the PGA Tour, and your life-long dream is to win on the PGA Tour, and then winning again the second time '97 to say, Okay, that first win wasn't a fluke, that I actually can play out here meant a lot.
Yeah, I think now a win would probably be even sweeter. It's been a while since I won. I've finished second six times since my last win and lost a couple playoffs that still sting. I think right now would be even sweeter honestly.
Q. You mentioned the struggle to find title sponsors. This tournament has been in existence 12 years, I believe, now. Would you have thought it would last? There were some lean times and some good times. What's kind of your take overall on where you are today?
SCOTT McCARRON: Well, we've got Rick George here that's gonna be answers some of the questions about title sponsors. But I believe this tournament is on the upswing. I think with our -- I really felt that our date was gonna get a better field.
I think we had a lot of guys that were in here -- it was gonna be a better field. We've had a few withdrawals. That happens during the year. Guys do get injured. I really feel like this tournament has lasted because of what the board, what the community, and really the players, too, they love coming to Reno. They love this golf course.
The people here treat the players so well that they come back year in and year out. I think if it wasn't for the players and the Tour really enjoying come to Reno -- this tournament has been in a difficult situation not having a title sponsor. We're doing everything we can - myself included - to secure this as a title sponsor.
I do believe playing with Rick George today and showing him Reno, having Ross Berlin here, another one of our big Tour guys, this tournament could be a stand-alone with a big sponsor type event. The players love coming here.
I see no reason why a Phil Mickelson, a Tiger Woods, and Ernie Els, the field that we used to get at another tournament similar to this, The International, why we couldn't get those type of fields here. I really do believe we could.
Q. And so in general, the idea of these tournaments, the encumber dates opposite, you still think there's a place for those??
SCOTT McCARRON: I think there is s place. Right now we have playing opportunities, and we got to make sure guys have an opportunity to play in tournaments. When you have a British Open that has a field that is a limited field - they've got a lot of European players and not a lot of Americans over there - we've got to do something to have some type of opposite event. Same with Bridgestone and same with the World Match Play.
So I think right now there is a place on tour for these opposite events.
Q. Besides yourself, and you have a home course advantage and knowledge, which you've said has helped over the years, who else do you see in the field that can really make a run at this thing this year??
SCOTT McCARRON: Well, I'm kind of rooting for the old guys. I'd like to see myself and Kirk Triplett and Steve Elkington, you got Mark Brooks. You got a lot of veteran players that are playing here this week that have very good records.
So this is a golf course that you've got to drive the ball fairly long and you've got to be very accurate because these greens are tough to hit just because of the altitude, and they are a little bit small in some areas. You've got to be on your game.
I think the trickiest part and why I've got a little bit off an advantage is the greens. They're very difficult to read just because this golf course is built on such a severe slope that there are a lot of optical illusions out there that only come from experience.
Q. Talk about having a guy like Stuart Appleby in the field; he's played the British Open before and had some success, yet he's in Reno this week, which should help attendance a little bit.
SCOTT McCARRON: I think it's great to have Stuart. I talked a lot about Stuart coming here. He's brought his family; he's staying up at Incline. He's really enjoying it. He sees what we have here and what we've been talking about and what we're trying to build.
To have a Stuart Appleby here to spread the word to the other guys is huge.
THE MODERATOR: Great. Scott, thanks for your time.
SCOTT McCARRON: Appreciate it.